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New models - Mercedes-Benz - S-Class

Mercedes-Benz upgrades its models - and prices

On the up: The S500 brandishes the biggest price rise, of $5100, but brings a claimed $9000 of extra standard equipment.

Mercedes increases equipment and pricing for nearly three-quarters of its model range

15 Aug 2007

IT IS not often a car-maker, not least one with the reputation of Mercedes-Benz, delivers simultaneous wholesale upgrades across almost its entire passenger vehicle range - but that’s exactly what the hallowed Stuttgart brand did last week.

It started with the all-new, less expensive C-class sedan launched last month and now Mercedes has added value to most of the rest of its luxury car range in a bid to stave off stiff new competition from rivals like BMW, Audi and Lexus.

In an unprecedented move that also includes price rises of up to $5100 on some models, Mercedes says it has added extra standard equipment to about 70 per cent of its passenger car range.

The premium car-maker says the result is an improvement in overall value for each model line, the cementing of its position as a leader in automotive technology and the availability of even more personalisation for most models.

4 center imageLeft from top: A-class B-class CLK-class SLK-class E-class CLS-class SL-class CL-class ML-class. Benz claims its move to add value to its range is a response to customer demand, rather than its slide in market share, and in many cases has resulted in model variants featuring standard equipment that was previously optional.

“We have spent a lot of time listening to our customers about what they need and want in their new Mercedes-Benz and these changes are commensurate with their feedback,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia managing director Horst von Sanden.

“These model revisions have been in development for some time. The all-new C-class was the first car in our range to benefit from this new approach to our product strategy and I’m excited to be able to announce these product revisions.” According the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS service, Mercedes’ passenger car sales and market share haves declined in Australia to July this year, with a total of 6477 passenger car sales (excluding trucks, vans and, oddly enough, SUVs) representing a 2.9 per cent decline in sales and its 1.9 per cent total market share down two percentage points.

Meantime, BMW’s passenger car share is static at 2.0 per cent, but its sales have risen by 6.5 per cent to 7406 in the same period. Audi’s passenger car sales are up a big 15.1 per cent to 3515 cars (its share is also static at 0.9 per cent), while Lexus has sold 2778 cars so far in 2007 – up 8.9 per cent. Its share remains static at 0.7 per cent.

When all vehicles are included, Mercedes leapfrogs BMW with total sales of 10,412 vehicles versus 9553 for BMW, but while that represents a 7.4 sales hike for the Munich maker, its arch-rival’s sales are 0.4 per cent down overall.

Similarly, the Lexus RX350 has helped the Japanese marquee to lift sales by 11 per cent to 4671 - narrowly ahead of Audi, whose Q7 has helped the third German luxury brand to 4434 sales – a massive 43.3 per cent sales spike.

But Mercedes says sales figures and market share alone don’t tell the whole story.

“As I have previously stated, leadership is not solely about numbers,” said Mr von Sanden last week.

“Mercedes-Benz's goal is to be able to offer the best possible products and services to customers in order to exceed their expectations and today's announcement is another step in achieving this.” The changes effect every non-commercial model in the Mercedes-Benz range except tlast month’s all-new C-class sedan, the seven-seat GL-class SUV flagship and the six-seat R-class people-mover – a seven-seat version of which was recently released in the UK and could soon be sold here to increase slow sales.

That means that models to come in for the value-added treatment include segment sales leaders like the E-class sedan and the S-class sedan flagship, plus the A and B-class hatchbacks, the compact CLK and large CL coupes, the CLK cabrio, the small SLK and large SL convertibles, and the five-seat M-class SUV.

A-class

THE three-door A170 Classic replaces A150 three-door (which has been discontinued) as the entry-level A-class.

Previously optional, rear side airbags, an upgraded Audio 20 AM/FM/CD player with keypad and the seat comfort package are now standard on the A170, while the base Classic trim grade on the three and five-door A170 brings new-design 16-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels.

The luxury-oriented Elegance equipment grade now includes leather trim and the sports-oriented Avantgarde line comes standard with sports seats, both of which were previously factory-fit Avantgarde-only options.

A new Metro Package, which is optional for the three and five-door A170 and standard on the three and five-door A200 and A200 Turbo, comprises the three most popular options: an Autotronic CVT transmission, Parktronic parking sensors and Speedtronic cruise control/speed limiter. It is priced at $3500 and Benz says its total value is $4600.

All A-class variants are now available with the long-wheelbase B-class’s Touring Package, which offers $4700 of optional features for $3200. It comprises a panoramic electric louvered sunroof with tilt/slide functions, six-CD stacker and telephone pre-installation.

The price of Comand APS (incorporating DVD navigation, AM/FM radio, CD player and mobile telephone functionality) has dropped from $5500 to $3900, and powered front seats are now available together for $900 (previously $1400).

Finally, bi-Xenon headlights are now also available on A-class, as is the new Mistral Blue metallic paint colour. A-class price rises range between $300 and $4400.

A170 Classic 3-dr - $34,700 (up $300, $1700 of extra claimed value
A200 Avantgarde 3-dr - $44,800 (up $4400, $6000 extra)
A200 Turbo - $48,300 (up $3900, $6000 extra)
A170 Classic 5-dr - $37,200 (up $300, $1700 extra)
A200 Elegance 5-dr - $47,300 (up $4400, $6000 extra)

B-class

All B-class models gain rear side airbags as standard, while the Metro Package is standard on the B200 Turbo, and optional for the B180 CDI and B200 for $3000.

The Sports gains sports front seats at no additional charge and the multicontour backrest for the driver’s seat (when the optional Touring Package is specified) has been deleted, with a corresponding reduction in the package price.

Prices for the B180 diesel and B200 petrol both rise by $600, while the flagship B200 Turbo’s price is up $3200.

B180 CDI - $45,500 (up $600, $800 of extra claimed value)
B200 - $45,400 (up $600, $800 extra)
B200 Turbo - $52,100 (up $3200, $3800 extra)

M-class

THE entry-level ML280 CDI gains Artico man-made leather upholstery with electrically-adjustable front seats, which replaces the combined ARTICO and fabric upholstery and part-electric adjustment option that previously cost $2650, as well as the Off-road styling package (previously a $1000 option).

ML350 and ML 320 CDI variants also receive the Off-road styling package (previously a $1000 option) as standard, along with the choice of two Luxury Packages, which cost $8000 on the ML280 and can be deleted from the ML350, ML320 CDI or ML500, thereby reducing the cost of the vehicle by $8000.

The first Luxury Package comprises 19-inch five-spoke light alloy wheels, full leather upholstery, fully electric front seats with driver’s memory function and an electrically adjustable steering column, Thermotronic multi-zone luxury climate control, anti-dazzle interior and exterior (folding) mirrors, burr walnut interior trim, blue tinted glass, chrome exterior highlights, rectangular exhaust tailpipes, extended interior lighting, dark tinted tail-lights and a compass.

The alternate Luxury Package replaces the leather interior with an interior sports package including Artico man-made leather/Alcantara upholstery, fully electric front sports seats with driver’s memory function and an electrically adjustable steering column and brushed aluminium pedals with rubber studs.

The ML500 gains a reversing camera, active bi-Xenon headlights (previously a $4250 option) and the exterior sports package (previously a $5500 option) as standard. The flagship ML63 AMG also gets a reversing camera.

Like the new C-class, the ML280, ML350 and ML320 CDI are now also available with a Vision Package, which includes a 12-speaker Harman Kardon Logic7 440-Watt surround sound system, bi-Xenon headlights with Active Light Function, cornering lights and washers, and a tilt/slide glass sunroof. The Vision pack is valued at $7200 and costs $4800.

First seen on the GL-class, the Premium Package is valued at more than $9000 and costs $4900. It comprises Distronic autonomous intelligent cruise control, Luxury front seats (includes heating and ventilation), the Keyless-Go automatic un/lock and drive authorisation system.

Finally, the new Designo Edition features front and rear sports seats in a single-tone Designo leather upholstery with six-rib vertical fluting, double top-stitching and Designo metal badges on the front seat backrests heated front seats a Designo timber/leather steering wheel Designo interior timber trim elements a Designo nappa leather covered front centre armrest lid, upper dashboard covering and door pulls an Easy-pack load securing kit and black velour floor mats with Designo leather edging.

Available on all ML variants (except the AMG) when the Luxury Package is specified, the Designo Edition costs n extra $11,000. The ML280 and 320 diesels, and ML350 and ML63 AMG petrols, increase in both price and claimed equipment value by $1000, while ML500 are said to be $5000 better off.

ML280 CDI - $78,874 (up $1000, $3600 of extra claimed value)
ML350 - $88,874 (up $1000, $1000 extra)
ML320 CDI - $91,874 (up $1000, $1000 extra)
ML500 - $120,874 (up $4000, $9000 extra)
ML63 AMG - $160,874 (up $1000, $1000 extra)

CLK-class

ALL CLK coupe and cabriolet variants gain rear side airbags and full electric front seats with driver’s memory as standard.

The entry-level CLK200K gets the lion’s share of changes, including speed-sensitive power steering and the updated M271 evolution supercharged four-cylinder engine from the new C-class, which produces 135kW/250Nm (up 15kW/10Nm).

The CLK500 gets an alarm system with tow-away protection and interior motion sensor, while the CLK63 AMG gains active bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic range adjustment, cornering lights and washers. The flagship 6.2-litre V8 is also now available with a new AMG performance sports steering wheel.

The CLK’s Avantgarde trim line gains the full Sports Package including perforated/vented front brake discs and 15mm-lower sports suspension, active bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic range adjustment, cornering lights and washers, plus Black Ash interior timber trim.

The Avantgarde features a claimed $5000 of extras, costs $4500 and now also comes as part of the AMG Sports Package.

New to the CLK is the Premium Package, which combines Distronic, Luxury front seats and Keyless-Go. The primo pack costs $6590, is valued by Benz at $10,000 and is available on all three CLK variants.

Apart from the addition of an auxiliary-in socket in the glovebox, all CLKs also now come with an extra three metallic paint colour choices: Chromite Black, Tenorite Grey and Indium Grey.

CLK200K - $86,900 (up $1800, $5600 of extra claimed value)
CLK200K Cabriolet - $100,900 (up $1500, $5600 extra)
CLK280 - $96,900 (up $1800, $5000 extra)
CLK350 - $121,100 (up $1000, $1000 extra)
CLK500 - $150,100 (up $1000, $2500 extra)
CLK63 AMG - $200,100 (up $1000, $2000 extra)

SLK-class

ALL SLKs add heated seats, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and Parktronic parking sensors, plus the option of factory-fitted manual lumbar adjustment. Lowered sports suspension is now a no-cost factory-fit option.

The base SLK200K four-cylinder now comes fitted with speed-sensitive power steering as standard, along with staggered-width 16-inch light alloy wheels in a new five-spoke design.

The SLK280 V6 adds 17-inch light alloy wheels in a new five-spoke design, lowered sports suspension and steering-wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.

The SLK350 V6 gains steering-wheel-mounted gearshift paddles for its standard 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.

The SLK55 AMG V8 gets an alarm system with interior motion sensor and the Harman Kardon Logic7 surround sound system.

All variants but the AMG-tuned SLK are now available with the optional Sports Package, including bi-Xenon headlights with cornering lights and washers, 17-inch light alloy wheels in 10-spoke design, sports suspension, a rear bootlid spoiler, red top stitching on the steering wheel, seats and door armrests, a leather gearshift surround, red or black seatbelts, matte carbon trim elements, red instrument needles and black velour floor mats with red edging.

SLK200Ks and SLK280s fitted with the Sports Pack ($4000) also get the SLK350’s larger brakes. Alls SLK prices rise by a curious $1074.

SLK200K - $89,474 (up $1074, $2,000 of extra claimed value)
SLK280 - $102,474 (up $1074, $2000 extra)
SLK350 - $115,474 (up $1074, $4300 extra)
SLK55 AMG - $164,474 (up $1074, $3600 extra)

E-class

ALL E-class sedan and Estate models now come with fully electric front seats with driver’s memory as standard.

The E200K now come standard with Elegance specifications and speed sensitive power steering.

The 378kW E63 AMG gains a new AMG performance sports steering wheel and active bi-Xenon headlights, plus the option of carbon-fibre interior and exterior highlights.

The E-class’s Avantgarde grade now includes the full Sports Package including perforated/vented front brake discs and 15mm-lower sports suspension, plus active bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic range adjustment, cornering lights and washers – valued at $9000.

The revised E-Class AMG Sports includes Avantgarde specifications, plus active bi-Xenon headlights, while Keyless-Go is now an option for cars fitted with the Avantgarde or AMG Sports Package extras.

New to the E-class is the Premium Package, which combines Distronic, (heated/ventilated) Luxury front seats and Keyless-Go. Priced at $6590, it’s claimed to comprise more than $13,000 of value.

All six and eight-cylinder E-class variants will now come fitted with dual exhaust outlets regardless of the model line selected (Elegance or Avantgarde), while Tenorite Grey metallic joins the paint colour palette.

Base petrol and diesel E-class pricing rises by $1800, with the entry-level E200K sedan’s price rising $3500 and the rest up $1000.

E200K - $88,000 (up $3500, $9000 of extra claimed value)
E280 - $101,300 (up $1800, $3900 extra)
E280 CDI - $103,300 (up $1800, $3900 extra)
E350 - $127,500 (up $1000, $1500 extra)
E500 - $161,300 (up $1000, $1500 extra)
E63 AMG - $228,600 (up $1000, $2400 extra)
E280 Estate - $107,300 (up $1800, $3900 extra)
E280 CDI Estate - $109,300 (up $1800, $3900 extra)
E350 Estate - $133,500 (up $1000, $1500 extra)
E500 Estate - $167,300 (up $1000, $1500 extra)
E63 AMG Estate - $234,600 (up $1000, $2400 extra)

CLS-class

NEW wheels, new paint colours, new options and an across-the-range $1000 price rise sums up the CLS four-door “coupe” changes.

The entry-level CLS350 scores five-spoke 18-inch light alloy wheels, the CLS500 gains the same but with staggered widths, and the CLS63 AMG range-topper gets the new AMG performance sports steering wheel.

The CLS-AMG can now also be had with the options of interior and exterior AMG carbon-fibre trim, and AMG illuminated door sill panels.

Borrowed from the E-class upon which it’s based is the Premium Package option, priced at $6590 and claimed to offer more than $13,000 of value. It includes Distronic, Keyless-Go and (heated/ventilated) Luxury front seats.

Diamond White Bright metallic, Flint Grey metallic and Sanidine Beige metallic are three new CLS paint colours.

CLS350 - $140,400 (up $1000, $2000 of extra claimed value)
CLS500 - $178,900 (up $1000, $1000 extra)
CLS63 AMG - $253,300 (up $1000, $1000 extra)

S-class

LIKE the E-class and CLS, the S-class also leads its segment in terms of sales and, as such, the changes are similarly minimal.

All models gain a 3D map display for the already-standard Comand APS navigation system, which now also includes a triple AUX-IN glovebox socket.

The S350 and S350L gain (heated/ventilated) Luxury front seats and new five-spoke 17-inch light alloy wheels.

Valued at more than $10,000, the S500 and S500L get extras including Night View Assist, a reversing camera, Luxury front head restraints, five-spoke 18-inch light alloy wheels and remote bootlid closing. There’s also the option of staggered-width 19-inch twin-spoke alloys.

Finally, the twin-turbo S65 AMG V12 now offers 20-inch AMG light alloy wheels as standard (previously a no-cost option). Price rises range between $1974 and $5100, while the S600L rises by $2100 without significant extras.

S350 - $189,874 (up $1974, $3900 of extra claimed value)
S350L - $205,874 (up $1974, $3900 extra)
S500 - $259,874 (up $5100, $9000 extra)
S500L - $274,974 (up $5100, $9000 extra)
S600L - $365,974 (up $2100, N/A)
S65L AMG - $449,974 (unchanged, N/A)

SL-class

ALL SL roadsters now come standard with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, electric folding exterior rear-view mirrors and an interior motion sensor (for the already-standard alarm with tow-away protection).

The SL 350 V6 receives five-spoke 18-inch light alloy wheels, (heated/ventilated) Luxury front seats and a digital/analogue TV tuner as standard.

The SL500 now boasts Linguatronic voice control for audio, telephone and navigation systems (as does the SL55K AMG) and a BOSE surround sound system as standard, while buyers of the top-shelf SL65 AMG V12 get Exclusive nappa leather trim as standard.

Also new to the SL is the Premium Package (valued at more than $15,000, but priced at $6800), including Distronic, Keyless-Go and a panoramic glass vario-roof, while Chromite Black and Tenorite Grey paint colours are new too. All prices rise by $1100 ($3100 for the base SL350).

SL350 - $218,000 (up $3100, $13,000 of extra claimed value)
SL500 - $301,000 (up $1100, $5000 extra)
SL600 - $376,000 (up $1100, $1900 extra)
SL55K AMG - $376,000 (up $1100, $3000 extra)
SL65 AMG - $459,000 (up $1100, $11,000 extra)

CL-class

LAUNCHED here in March this year, the seventh generation of Mercedes-Benz’s most expensive coupe gains the fewest changes, with all three variants claimed to offer $1000 of extra features for no extra cost.

Both the V12 CL600 and V8-powered CL500 and CL63 AMG score Distronic Plus (including parking guidance and a reversing camera) as standard, plus the addition of a 3D map display for the already-standard Comand APS navigation system and a triple AUX-IN glovebox socket, including video input.

CL500 - $307,974 (unchanged, $1000 of extra claimed value)
CL600 - $388,974 (unchanged, $1000 extra)
CL63 AMG - $382,974 (unchanged, $1000)

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